By the time I arrived at my hotel a heavy fog had settled in over the ground. The snow was melting, and though it was dark I could see patches of grass breaking through the white. I was tired, but was otherwise unaffected by my trip. My previous collapse at the station was like a distant memory. For the first time in a long time I didn't feel sick, or fatigued, or even scared. My body didn't ache. I was finally free from the strange hold that place has had on me, but I could not figure out why. Perhaps it was really all just be in my head.
The moment I opened the door to the lobby a heavy scent of chlorine hit me. There was a pool nearby, available to all paying residents. I checked in, and was given a room on the third floor. Once there, I took the opportunity to call my teacher for the class I had been taking. The class that had really started my investigations. I wasn't sure if she would answer, but she did all the same. I wanted to put Wellington Street behind me, and so I told her that I had finished the assignment and was ready to turn it in.
There was a long silence on the other end of the phone. The teacher told me that I had been dropped from the class, that I had not gone to a single session in over seven months...I hadn't realized...I couldn't believe, I can't believe that in some way I did all this for nothing. Sure, I found out some things. Some terrible, horrible things. But the purpose was to complete the assignment, to get the truth out there in some form. I have made them available by sharing them online, but the review of my research, the examination of these reports will never take place...
I hung up the phone and cried for several minutes. The evidence was right in front of me, but I was too concerned with my illness to notice. My memory had failed me again, one last consequence of the nightmare I had experienced. I had only to really look at the way my time had been spent, and it would have been clear. But instead, I was stuck, staring at the large stack of useless reports on the desk.
I decided that I would take a swim, to try and take my mind off of everything. There was nothing I could do about it immediately. I was here to escape, to try and forget the awful things I have witnessed. So I went to the shop by the lobby and picked up some swimming trunks. By the time I reached the pool it was empty, being too late for any of the families residing in the hotel.
The water was lukewarm, but still I took time getting in. A habit from childhood. I have always tried to avoid being cold. I wadded in, and headed towards the deep end. I rested on my back, let my ears sink below the water. The familiar amplifying of sound, the muddying of the tone was instantaneous. I just floated there, letting my thoughts go, not wanting to think about what to do next. I was finally free from that place.
Several minutes passed. I closed my eyes and just allowed myself to focus on the feeling of the water on my skin...then I heard a sharp clicking noise, slightly muted by the water. At first I thought it might be the water jets, but soon the clicking started up again. I flipped over onto my stomach, and looked around. Nothing...I took a deep breath and stuck my head under the water...I wish I hadn't.
At first I thought it was a left over towel, black in color and resting on the bottom. But then, lazily, it began to move. Slowly, inching its way along the ground with four limbs that ended in hands. It looked up at me with black, empty eyes. There were six of them. Bubbles rose from its mouth as the clicking began again. I screamed, heading as quickly as I could to the side of the pool. I felt the water foam, and could hear the thick sound of thrashing, like the sound a fish makes in low water. I paddled as fast as I could, finally reaching the steps leading out.
I was half out of the water when I felt that scaly, slimy thing grab onto my leg. It pulled hard, and my legs fell out from underneath me. My hands slid down the rail, my chin hitting the edge hard. I could see blood falling into the water as I tried desperately to hold onto the railing. I yelled, called out for someone to help me. I felt my hands slipping, felt it biting into my leg. I could feel its teeth piercing my flesh. Then, suddenly, inexplicably, the thing let go...I saw someone come in through the door, rushing over to me as I pulled myself out of the water. I turned and watched as that thing seeped through the slits in the drain, position in the bottom of the pool.
The man asked what had happened, but I couldn't offer an explanation. I got up, my head throbbing and my body overwhelmed with fatigue. I told the man that I had just had a cramp, and that I had had trouble getting out of the water. He didn't seem to trust me, but didn't push it further. I walked over to where my towel was and looked into the water. I swear I saw a tooth, stuck fast in the vents of the drain.
I went back to my room soon after. I wanted to shower, but I couldn't remove the image of the thing coming through the drain. I vomited throughout the night, my back aching and my vision doubling up on itself. I begin to panic, and it took several pills before I finally managed some level of control. I wasn't able to sleep. I kept seeing things out of the corner of my eyes, shadows along the walls in the dark.
The manager of the hotel has begun to complain. He says that if I keep making noise at night I will have to leave. I...hear things whispering to me. Music overlapping images in my dreams. I have not showered for fear of the thing, have not even left my room. The message has been made perfectly clear.
I will not be free of that place, no matter where I run to.